Diabetes / Endrocrinology
Diabetes / Endocrinology
NECC provides extensive healthcare among the most disadvantaged and under-served communities of L.A. County.
Our clinics can screen, educate and support those most in need to better their quality of life. Be healthy, be happy because “the groundwork of all happiness is health” (James Leigh Hunt).
The NECC – Diabetes Specialty Center opened in February 2017 in the Downtown Los Angeles. This specialty clinic allow us to expand the types of services offered to our diabetes patient population.
Please call (888) 311-6322 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about Diabetes.
We now have 2 Diabetic Specialty Care Clinics. The 2nd is 502 Hawthorne. Opened spring 2019.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to produce and/or accept insulin resulting in high levels of blood glucose. The majority of food that we eat is converted into glucose. The pancreas is responsible for producing a hormone called insulin. Insulin is a necessary hormone that converts sugar, starches, and other food into glucose, which is needed daily for energy. When glucose builds up in the bloodstream instead of going into cells, it can lead to severe health complications.
Types of Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce any insulin. Normally the body breaks down the carbohydrates you eat into blood sugar, which it uses for energy. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get sugar from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. In the absence of insulin, blood sugars can become very high, resulting in vomiting, dehydration and acidotic blood. The treatment for this type of diabetes is insulin.
In type 2 diabetes, the body makes insulin but is unable to use it properly due to insulin resistance in the cells. Type 2 is typically treated through lifestyle changes, medications and sometimes insulin as the disease progresses.
Gestational diabetes starts when the body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, sugar cannot leave the blood and be used by cells as a source of energy. If not properly treated Gestational diabetes can cause complications in both the mother and the infant.
What are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
People with diabetes may experience some of the following symptoms
Because of the slow onset of symptoms of this disease it is very important that anyone with the above symptoms consult with their primary care physician.
Who is at Risk for Developing Diabetes?
Diabetes can affect anyone. There are both genetic and environmental components to the development of diabetes. In fact, one in four L.A. County residents 65 or older has diabetes. Some risk factors include:
Type 2 diabetes has increased in the Latino, African American and Asians/Pacific Islander communities.7
Why is it Important to Get Tested?
Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in L.A. County. If left untreated diabetes can lead to the following health complications:
Testing for diabetes can be done in two ways. Your primary care physician can perform either a rapid blood test, which is done with the prick of a finger, or a Hemoglobin A1C test, which is done by drawing blood. The difference is that a Hemoglobin A1C test gives the average blood glucose control for a 3 month period versus taking a quick blood sugar count. Your healthcare provider may also test your kidneys and urine.
Diabetic patients must take responsibility for your day-to-day care by partaking in the following activities:
Diabetics must also schedule regular checkups with your primary care physician to monitor symptoms, blood sugar control, medication compliance/tolerability, and progression. Diabetes is a progressive disease, but symptoms and complications can be delayed with proper control of blood sugar. Your primary care provider is an important partner in managing diabetes. Routine visits and open communication is critical.
How to Lower your Risk
If you or your family members have diabetes, you may be able to prevent or control it if you watch your diet, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Similarly, diabetics also need to monitor their blood pressure and cholesterol levels because both pose a major cardiac risk factors.
All diabetics need to monitor their diet carefully. They need to monitor the amount of sugar they ingest in all forms – plain sugar, fruits, starches, and carbohydrates. Diabetics should try to eat fresh vegetables, lean meats, and limited amounts of fruit. According to the American Diabetes Association food recommendations, a good place to start “is at about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate at a meal.” Depending on your body, you may need more or fewer quantities. Consult with your primary care physician on specifics.
Diabetics should exercise to help control blood sugar. Exercise improves the body’s receptivity to insulin. Maintaining a healthy weight is part of the health plan. Although all diabetics should consult their primary care physician, the Center for Disease Control recommends that if “you are not accustomed to physical activity, you may want to start with a little exercise… such as walking 10 or 20 minutes each day.” 4